Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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August 31 – Because Of His Great Blessings

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.”  2 Pet. 1:3-7

Devotional Thought For The Day

The assurances we receive from God’s Word regarding the blessings that He has freely bestowed upon us in Christ Jesus are almost too good for us to fully fathom and appropriate. Since we continue to struggle mightily with all kinds of sinful thoughts and impulses, we don’t think it possible that we have actually received what Scripture describes. Likewise, every time we read an encouragement for us to be working on developing good characteristics and engaging in good deeds we forget all about the reality that it is only God’s power that can accomplish good things within us. It is so difficult for us to move past “if . . . then” thinking, and on to “because . . . so” motivation.  Therefore we need to take great care in reading His Word, so that we can continue growing in faith and godliness.

First, consider that according to His own Word “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” Note that this blessedness comes by “His divine power,” not by anything in us or by anything that we do. Second, note that He has granted “all things that pertain to life and godliness.”  Note the past tense, and the inclusiveness – “has granted” and “all things.” This is hard for us to fully grasp and believe – we interpret our experiences in such a way as to literally deny this reality. He accomplishes all of this in us “through the knowledge of Him who called us.” It is His revelation of Himself – His Word and His Sacraments, which contain His “precious and very great promises” [His Word] – by which He bestows the knowledge of God upon us, of His gracious love, mercy, and compassion toward us, and “through” these means we are given “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” We are passive in this, other than being in contact with and instructed by His Word.

All of this blessedness, which is real and true, initiates a process in us – “so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature.”  We certainly don’t become “gods,” and we certainly do not become “like God” [self-determining] in the way the devil promised Eve. But the image of God, His personal characteristics of goodness, righteousness, justice, holiness, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness are given, developed, and perfected in us through His Word. We are “partakers of the divine nature” in no other way, not naturally, not intrinsically, but from outside of us, by God’s power, through knowledge of Him, through His Word, His precious and very great promises. This, however, is a process – which we are encouraged to cooperate in and to pursue with our whole being, our minds, our spirits, and our bodies. But, it is in view of, because of the blessedness already fully bestowed upon us that we are to “make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.”

We should contemplate each of these characteristics – virtue, knowledge of God, self-control, steadfastness of faith and loyalty to God, godliness, brotherly affection, and love, but we’re running out of space and time for a short devotion.  Suffice it to say that we must first be aware of the utter blessedness already bestowed upon us in Christ Jesus by the power of God in order to pursue these good things. And having received these blessed gifts and promises of God’s love, mercy, forgiveness, and eternal salvation, it is clear just what our “every effort” is to be directed toward.  That this requires “effort” makes clear that we are by no means perfect, that we will continue to wrestle and strive against our sinful impulses until we see Christ again. But the fact that we are in this process by no means negates what has already been granted to us by His divine power through His Word – thanks and praise be to God!

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, help us to stop and take time to contemplate and fully absorb the blessedness You have bestowed upon us. Remove our doubts and unbelief, and grant us the full joy of Your salvation.  In this way prepare our hearts and minds to make every effort in pursuing those good things that are of Your divine nature. Fill us with joy and wonder at such blessedness, that we may always praise and glorify You. Amen.